Sunday, August 12, 2018

A Little Leisure

painting by Vladimer Volegov

I often write about women's work in the home, but leisure is just as important because it revives the body and the soul.  Women must look after themselves with re-creation, beginning with rest.

 A few little things to look at today. Maybe you can spot some of them from where you live.

English Daisy

These would not stay in the flower beds, but traveled underground and spread all over the lawn and the roadside. The farmers are not very happy with it although it is quite a pretty scene.
 Mourning doves make their sounds each day around here.  There is also a 'laughing dove". Have you heard it?

How about taking some time for a wee spot of tea...

...and have you tried this wonderful hand therapy lotion? It is not wet or greasy. It absorbs nicely into the hands and it has a delicate scent.  It heals cuts and scrapes too. I go a long way to  find a shop to buy this lotion and I wanted you to know about it. It comes in other scents, also.
Camille Beckman is a family owned business in Idaho and the products can be ordered online. I tried a smaller, less expensive jar of this lotion just to be sure I would like the scent before buying this large one. 

I leave you with some leisurely, pampering things today.

All pictures except the hand lotion are from Pinterest.  If you go to the left and click on My Pinterest, you can see other picture collections. It is all aimed to lower the blood pressure and reduce stress!

Personally I think homemaking should be approached with delight and not anxiety With a relaxing attitude, you don't have to go on furlough as often. If you raise up a family who is frightened every time the Mother gets in a house keeping mode, you may end up with grown ups who dread house keeping. In an old McGuffey reader, there is a story (possibly written by Samuel Johnson, the author of the first English dictionary ) of a housekeeper who is so frenzied that everyone in the house runs away until the dust has settled. The author suggests that a man must build himself a little cabin, shack or hut behind the house that he can escape to during the housekeeping storm. In this story he describes the feeling the family gets when no object is safe from the violent sloshing of water in a bucket.  Of course, it was written from a comedic viewpoint, but let us not make ourselves an object of comedy by the vengeful way we clean. ;-)

I may have written about this in the early days of blogging, and described the shrieking housekeeper who is angry at everyone, throwing things, terrorizing the family, in an effort to get the house in order. Such things ought not to be so, but unfortunately it happens.  Just remember these are human beings who err like we do, and who need love and compassion, which is a greater teacher than fury.

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Romans 12:18

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14

Friday, August 10, 2018

Cool Ladies

Charles Sims 1873-1928

Hello.  As many of us in this dry weather are cleaning, painting, decluttering and organizing while we can have the doors open, I decided to post some soothing pictures of ladies looking relaxed in summer. As vacation-ey as summer is, it can get quite hectic, especially if you are in the throws of re-organizing the house.  I'm taking advantage of a few days with no people here, to get all my rooms in order, but, as Emma said, "I have a grim job ahead of me!" and so, I wanted to come here and get my thoughts organized for the task ahead today.  I have a few more things to put away and then will try and finish my recent sewing and show it to you. 

In this post today i am using a lot of white, light and softeness because it is so hot here and it makes me feel cool.

The following paintings are by Frank Benson 1862`1951

In the 1990's the Victoria magazine editors did a Frank Benson layout using his granddaughters posing his paintings. Some of you might remember it. Click the link to see what I wrote about it a few years ago.

It also might be nice today, to look at some soothing pictures of a room already cleaned up ;-) and again I am choosing white for coolness. How about a bathroom...

...and a dining room..

...a laundry room...

...and, you know of that back porch or patio where you stash everything while you are trying to get the inside of the house clean? Speaking for myself, I am really looking forward to getting all that put away so I can enjoy something like this:

 These photos are not from my home. They are from Pinterest. They give me ideas of how i want to have it here. I do not know about the rest of you, but pictures certainly help me!!  I'm always sending my granddaughter a hoarder-type picture with a distress text: "PRAY FOR ME" and then I so enjoy sending the triumphant "after" picture.

Because I know so many people who are in a home upheaval--from re-locating, rennovating, planning a home wedding or a large event, painting, etc., I want to remind you to make a list and then to pray to be enabled to do it. I will also leave you with this verse to think about:

 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask me[a] anything in my name, I will do it. 

Often in Bible classes we encourage the youth to memorize the "future and a hope" scripture, but I would like to remind everyone that is past their youth, that God has a future and a hope for the rest of us, too!  I think of that often in regards to my housekeeping and home dwelling.

Ladies naturally want to help someone and often have a desire to go somewhere and participate in ministry. Let me suggest that you make your family and your house your ministry. No one can take your place because you were the one chosen by God for these people that you care for. You can begin to look at it with new eyes when you consider it a ministry of love to people who need you so much and depend on you. I am much less of a slacker if i can remember that house care and family care is something more lofty than the physical labor. My labor then becomes a mission.  Perhaps you can explain it better! Please be sure to comment!

Wednesday, August 08, 2018


Good Morning,

Regarding today's title, I just remembered that my maternal Grandmother's name was Pleasie, and her grandfather's name was Pleasant Tackitt.  Those names were familiar in the 1800's but not any longer.

Here are a few pictures from Pinterest that transfer pleasantry. 

As a matter of fact, most anything orderly, beautiful and organized is peaceful!  That is an  important clue in settling the mind, and I know how good it is  to wake up to pleasant sights. How would you like to go spend a morning outside in front of these two beautiful places!

Everyone I know  decluttering and also  wisely taking time out to enjoy some leisure, in the outdoors. That seems to be the two things occupying people's minds. The shelves in stores are empty and bare of all storage boxes and cleaning materials and we are awaiting the next shipment.  Dollar Tree is out of the mops and mop buckets and other things. It is nice and dry here and everyone wants to clean and declutter.

 I like this painting, which I assume is by Vladimer Volegov, of the lady with a book in the garden. Do you remember doing that as a child? If you do not remember, maybe it is time to create the memory. Take a grandchild by the hand and settle down under a tree or on a bench in the garden.

painting by Joseph Farquharson, Scotland, 1846-1945

Here are some fabrics by Rachael Ashwell. I'm not sure where they are sold, but aren't they soft and soothing!

And now, here are some of my own morning pictures from around here. They are not exactly Pinterest-worthy, but I'm getting closer to making these scenes into something I like waking up to.

 No, this is not a real slice of cake, but it looks like a vanilla slice.

It is a piece of chalk rock from the hillside up in the high desert, and I have been keeping it on the tea table and enjoying people picking it up and thinking it really is a slice of cake. It looks like Salted Caramel Vanilla Crunch Cake that is served in tea rooms around here. The recipe is impossible to get. A slice costs $8.00, so most ladies order one slice and share it.

If I could have that recipe...

Once my MIL ate a delicious salad at a restaurant. She wrote and asked for the recipe, and they gladly sent it to her with a bill for $50.00!!! I never heard if she actually paid it.  

 We are still using my MIL's furniture, which was old when she first got it,  and now I am covering it by draping it with her chenille bedspreads, which are better off being used than getting musty in an old box.  I found that laundering them and then leaving them on the line to get all that nice sun-starch, makes them perfectly sturdy for furniture covers.  I add a drop of lavender scent to the wash and rinse. I actually wash them in cleaning vinegar. The sun also bleaches this cotton fabric and makes everything so fresh and new and kind of exciting.

I will be looking for new furniture as this will not last much longer, and I'm considering patio furniture because of the humidity here. It is also more reasonably priced than other types of furniture.

These are those $3.88 outdoor waterproof cushions from Walmart. There are some other prints available there now that were not out when the sale first began, so if the price goes down I will get a couple more.  I like them because they are not delicate, and I don't have to feel sensitive about them being ruined. 

Dried eucalyptus is a great way to make my  house naturally fresh. I have some in every room and I'm fixin' to get some more.

I have collected a couple of pictures of patio furniture. For as little time as people spend sitting on couches and chairs these days, I do not see much point in having huge, heavy, over-stuffed furniture that I cannot move by myself to sweep under, and that also overwhelms a tiny living room.  Patio furniture sets are usually a fraction of the price of "real" furniture and seem to be just as comfortable, and in fact I believe it lasts a lot longer than conventional living room furniture.

 My wicker and my vinyl wicker has outlasted several sets of traditional living room furniture and is far more versatile, as it can be used in other rooms, even the kitchen and bedrooms.  I have to laugh when I think how difficult it is to get rid of the old broken down living room couch, and how people will put it on their front porch sometimes.

 Unlike upholstered furniture that wears out, patio furniture looks great even when abandoned to the yard. Usually, no one is in my living room, as they are all visiting in the kitchen, or people go to their own rooms where there are also chairs, desks, and lamps. So, for the living room replacement set, I may be getting patio furniture. I have seen drastically reduced (under $50 sometimes for a couch) in local shopping areas when summer begins to fade.

I know most people would not think of using this in the house, but consider that it is waterproof, including the cushions, and that air circulates better around such furniture, entailing easier housekeeping, and that it is washable and resistant to spills and stains. It is also usually steel framed, and impervious to hard wear and tear.   In humid climates, this is the ideal furniture, as there is no cloth on it to attract moisture, and the air freely circulates around and through the furniture, incurring less mildew or musty scent.

I was listening to the the Bible being read on YouTube, and this phrase caught my ear. I wish I had studied and practiced this at age 16! How much better it would have been for me than some of the empty learning of the time. I will have to practice it quickly, so I can make up for lost time.

Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle,c encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, 21but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it."

First Thessalonians 5:12-24.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Maintaining Your House When There is an Upheaval

 Hello Dear Ones,

When I awoke today it was to a terrible mess, as we are in such an upheaval with reassigning and rearranging, and getting to the core of our things, cleaning, etc.  It is like going back to bare bones, like when we first began housekeeping.  Mr. S. needed shelving in his office and I happily gave him the storage units in the utility-laundry room. But that means there are things all over the floor in there right now, spilling out into other rooms.
 So, today, I decided to talk a little bit about how to keep a sane world around me when my house, my own world, is not sane at all. It always helps to have some pictures in mind of what I want the finished product to look like!  Lately I have been looking at mantel arrangements on Pinterest, which is my current interest in housekeeping.

Breaking down the job into smaller tasks, down to the last pick-up task, is so helpful.

"Clean living room" becomes:

-tidy up couch and chairs (remove cushions, clean
inside of couch, replace and arrange cushions and quilt
-put away books, papers, toys, other things.
-de-clutter tables, piano, all surfaces
-take rugs outside (shake, sweep)
-clean windowsills
-wipe tables
-take a picture and send to granddaughter

It always helps to have a homemaking coach in the form of a friend who will coach you on the phone just to get you going, with questions like, "Are you dressed?" Have you had your morning tea and made a list?  Is your entry or front room, (the one first visible to you when you enter the house), presentable?

There are so many housekeeping books and sites around, your friend could read a chapter from on of these books, to help you get going.

Another thing that gives me hope is to have a few pictures to look at; something to look forward to in the final accomplishment of house keeping.  Back in the day before Internet, we had catalogs, and of course, they were designed to get you to order things, but there was something quite nice about looking at a picture of a living room or bedroom all neatly arranged.  It gave us a standard of how things could look.
 Today I've collected a few pictures from Pinterest just for ideas. I will not try to imitate it perfectly, but just use what I have to get the atmosphere of it.

I have other techniques for getting out from under a big upheaval (moving, coming home from a trip, recovering from illness, family emergencies, weddings, memorial services---which all cause a disruption of housekeeping) but it would be easier to talk about it on a video ....someday.

And, as my house is a total wreck today, I have to use these pictures from Pinterest.

 I do have some semi-clean areas today, and although these spots need some work, I will share:

..and the upper half of the bathroom is clean!!!!! (Probably because it is impossible to mess it up!)

 I included this painting today as housework motivation for leisure time. When the house is in order,  it creates some free time for this!
Painting by Alexander Averin

Monday, August 06, 2018


A viewer sent me these enhanced photos from my blog, which I took of my yard.

Friday, August 03, 2018

A Little Progress Around Here

Good day to all of you. It is morning here and I am just now making my list for the day. I have to put the water on this sweet flower bed, take the paint supplies to the tool shed, put some things away, and bring in the laundry from the line when it gets dry. I should get dressed first ;-)

The weather was very humid, although the ground was dry and the grass turned brown in some parts. I am having quite a time trying to keep it green for the ladies tea in late August. The sky is a lovely blue. That is nice. We can always look up, can't we!

One of the things I like most is looking up at the sky through the leaves when I am hanging the laundry. That is quite a blue,  but do you know I have not one piece of fabric in that color in my stash! 

I have to be careful about having awnings, umbrellas or canopies, because when the wind picks up suddenly, those things sail away into the next farm field, no matter how firmly they are tied down. I put this umbrella up just for the photo.

Inside, I have cleaned the dishes up and the surfaces in the kitchen, as well as mopping the floor. While I was de-cluttering a shelf that I had not cleaned in some time, I found a 20 year old bottle of floor wax and decided to try it on the vinyl-wood floor in the kitchen. It worked very well.
You do not get to see my kitchen very often on this blog, because it is usually so busy with activity, but here is the floor with the wax job.

You probably want to know how I could have saved a bottle of floor wax for 20 years. I think someone left it here. I do not recall ever seeing it before.  When no-wax floors were the norm, we did not buy floor wax.  This is just one of the many things that has been lost in time.  But, that is like the no-iron shirts. The no-wax floors still could use a little wax and the no-iron shirts could use some pressing.

 I'm hoping by decluttering, my house will be more updated and less museum-like with all the relics.  I hope I don't have a 20 year old bottle of shampoo or salt, but I might have some old spices.  The cabinets are very long and deep, and it is easy for items to get pushed to the back and hard to retrieve, and that is possibly how the unopened bottle of wax from 20 years ago came to be stored.

It is probably well known by now, but I wanted to mention it just in case someone was unaware: slicing lemons on the sides eliminates the need to pick out the seeds. The seeds will remain in the core of the lemon, which you can use for something like the cylinder inside the juice pitcher. I keep a covered bowl of sliced lemons in the fridge for our drinking water and for hot lemon drink in the mornings.  Before you throw away the peeling, you can use it to rub remaining lemon on rough spots on your skin.  I've been doing that, and it has helped clear up my skin. I know there are so many warnings against strong sunlight and skin problems, but I found the sun also helped to clear up my complexion.

My house, my yard, my complexion....sigh...

I guess this blog IS all about me! ;-)  Seriously, that criticism came in last year---why is your blog all about you?  I guess it is because I try not to gossip about others, only about myself ;-)

There are a lot of people decluttering and trying to get down to a manageable home life. I'm finding that it happens a moment at a time. It is easy to get discouraged when I see a 20 year accumulation, but it is quite energizing to pick away at it for 20 minutes a day, and then go on to the daily routines. It has clearned my head too, so maybe I can eventually write more brilliantly. ;-)


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